lissa carlino


So, I have a website. It’s a bit strange having a dot com after my name, but let’s just move on.

I’m an American expat who grew up in a family of newspaper publishers in the Midwest, lived for ten years in the Northeast while completing my education, and moved to New Zealand four years ago. We are now permanent residents!

I must admit I never even thought about visiting New Zealand before relocating here. I had met a friend years ago in San Francisco from New Zealand (check out my Where’s Joe Wellington blog for that story) but it always seemed like a dream country way off the grid that I’d never see. You can read in depth about this move under The Knackered Truth section, in a six-part series “Our Move To New Zealand”.

Previously an addictions treatment counselor, I love being a full-time mother now. It was part of our plan that if we moved abroad, I’d be able to fulfil my dream of staying home with our children, and also focus on my writing. I grew up in the theatre but my secret passion has always been for the written word. It wasn’t anything I ever talked about openly with others- writing was a male-dominated profession in my family. But that didn’t stop me. I kept it as my secret, something I’d do privately for my own benefit.

In 2009, someone told me about National Novel Writing Month. I had become ill and decided to sign up. It changed my life. I wrote my first manuscript during that time. It was crap, but it was finished. What I’d do with it wasn’t a concern; I wrote it for me.

It wasn’t until moving down here and starting my Where’s Joe Wellington blog that my passion for writing was sparked again. I found my first manuscript and edited it for a good year while researching all I could about traditional publishing. Then I started to query agents in America. And the rejections piled up. I’ve since shelved that one until another day, drafted a sequel to it, and wrote a new manuscript. This one is the love of my life and I can’t wait to share it with the world.

Woman Enough is available as an eBook!

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The paperback version is available on Amazon! Are you on Goodreads? I’d love to connect on there. Are you on Twitter? You can find me at @EWallerCarlino. That’s about all the social media I can handle.

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Creativity is at the core of my soul: I was in my first play when I was four and racked up a decent resume by the time I was 24; I was a backup singer touring with a local Vermont singer-songwriter with gigs around the state and in NYC; I did some light modeling, a television commercial and co-starred in an independent film many years ago. All those opportunities fulfilling, nothing as much as getting the stories out of my head and onto paper.

I balanced creativity with serious work. My Bachelor’s degree is in psychology and I was only a few credits shy of receiving my Masters in counselling before we moved to New Zealand. I’d like to finish that someday, too, but not sure how that would work living down here. I’ve worked as an advocate for Sexual Assault Survivors, have supported individuals with developmental disabilities, and as an addictions treatment and assessment counsellor. Every person I’ve worked with has enriched my life in some way and I will always advocate awareness of such topics and continue to fight for their rights.

I’m a member of Romance Writers of New Zealand, a 2x winner of National Novel Writing Month, was featured in Divine In The Daily, and am a contributor for Inside Wellington (links below).

So, that’s why I have a dot com after my name. I want to share our adventure stories of living abroad and open up the vault of stories that lie within so I can share them with you.


Thanks for following and I look forward to sharing more!


For interviews, author appearances, and book signings please contact my publicist, Elizabeth Heritage



“Woman enough is an excellent read. I was captivated from the moment I started reading and struggled to put it down. Apart from being a really enjoyable read, the theme of this book and the important issues raised will be recognized by everyone, regardless of the readers background. For the female readers, they will likely recognize aspects of Becca’s experience of not feeling good enough and the impact of misogyny with their own past experiences. Likewise, this story is just as much for men, who too can struggle with feelings of self doubt, inadequacy and the cultural impact of traditional hegemonic masculinity.What I love most about this book is it delves back into the main character Becca’s past to explore the where, what, why, who and how. Becca’s self beliefs, addition issues and sexuality aren’t just glossed over. The way this book is written helps the reader understand Becca’s complexity, and demonstrates how childhood and past events can and do have an impact on our everyday functioning and mental health. Highly recommend this book as it will still have you thinking about it weeks later…” – Amazon reader

“A great read. I loved the storyline to understand the feelings and thoughts related to being a woman in some challenging life situations.” -Amazon reader

“I had the opportunity to support a friend of mine today at her book signing. Lissa Carlino wrote a book that challenged me in several ways. As a man it challenged me to look at how I treat the women in my life. Do my words and actions build them up or tear them down. The consequences may go deeper than what I may realize. As a friend it challenges me to be a better support for those women I call a friend. The world tends to objectify women and often pushes them into situations they never intended for themselves. It may take something as simple as a kind word or something as hard as an intervention, but as a man it is my responsibility to be what the friends in my life need. Finally, as a father of three girls it challenges me to exemplify what they need to look for in men and except nothing less. My words need to build confidence in them for what it means to be a woman. That they are strong, beautiful, independent, smart, supported, can be whatever they want to be, and loved no matter what happens in their life. That as their dad I will always be there. ALWAYS! Thank you Lissa for writing one of the few books I have read that challenges me as a person!” -Ryan Smith, Facebook


In The News:

Brainerd Daily Dispatch 

Echo Journal 

eYs Magazine as part of Wham Bam Author Jam, photo & quote page 32



THE DIVINE IN THE DAILY, Adventures in Uncertainty 

Inside Wellington (Wellington-LIVE),

Inside Otari Wilton’s Bush 

Inside Wellington Botanic Garden


Radio Interviews:

KAXE July 9, 2018


See Events page for more info